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Service Sector Will Gradually Open from 2002

Posted November. 24, 2001 11:44,   


The strong pressure of marker opening will effect not only in agricultural sector but also in service sector due to the beginning of the New Round (Doha Round) negotiations from next year.

The service sector will faces big changes. The legal, educational, and medical service areas, which experienced almost no foreign competitors, should open their markets. If the service market opens, foreign colleges, hospitals, or law firms can directly start their businesses in Korea.

The member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO), including Korea, have to present their requesting articles that they want to discuss in the service sector opening negotiations to the WTO by June 2002. Then, each country should submit the plan of opening measures by March 2003. The WTO will finish the negotiation by the end of 2004 and the results of the negotiation will come into effect from 2005..

Therefore, the government plans the gradual opening of the service industry market, such as legal, educational, and medical services, from next year, in order to increase the competing power of the domestic businesses before the foreign pressure of market opening become serious. The government will adapt active measures to the WTO negotiations.

A high ranking official of the Ministry of Finance and Economy said yesterday, "The government plans to attract foreign investments through the gradual opening of the service market to develop the service sector as the high value-added industry, which will lead the growth of economy."

This official continued, "It is urgent to elevate the competing power of the service industry through the market opening for attracting the head quarters or the regional head quarters of multinational corporations in Korea. The New Round negotiations will intensively discuss the opening of legal, educational, medical, and film markets because the financial and communication markets are already opened in a great extend."

He also added, "Instead of opening the market by pressure, the government will prepare the gradual opening measures."

The government plans to spread the public consensus for the gradual opening in order to maximize the benefits of opening and to minimize the related groups` objection with the their collective egoism.

Chan-Sun Hong hcs@donga.com